Submitted by Jessie
Author’s note: They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. Here’s hoping that I flatter GWOP’s butts off.
“On this episode of Jon and Kate Plus Eight,” says the braided bunch of Mady, Cara, “Hannie” and Alexis – looking very patriotic with their American flags. It’s 4th of July at the McMansion beach house in the Gosselin’s future home state of North Carolina. We see the usual unhappiness ensue as Jon and Kate drag the kids to have their hair done, try and take a family picture with half the kids crying, Mady is pouting, Cara is crying, tups are fighting, here we go!
Jon and Kate are sitting on the confessional couch as they explain the plans for the 4th of July. I notice that they are sitting a lot closer and in reverse order of how they usually sit. This time, Kate has her arm behind Jon’s back and is leaning in to him instead of trying to be as far away as possible. Their PR people have definitely been coaching them. Jon outlines the day as he stands in one of the many sliding doors of the beach house – picnic barbeque (he says in his usual backwards order, except this time out of earshot from his “English-as-a-second-language-teacher-Kate), fireworks, dessert making (hopefully it’s not cupcakes!).
First up on the “cram-as-much-patriotic-fun-by-a-corporate-sponsor” docket is getting the girls’ hair done at a place called “Haireanes”. The owner is holding up a be-headed mannequin by it’s Bo Derek-like braids and explaining to Kate that you can pick out your own beads. Oh no Kate, don’t let Mady pick out her own – she’ll pick out an “obnoxious orange” color just to irk you. The camera pans in to the price list on the wall which states that it costs $4.00/braid x 6 girls x all that hair on “Hannie” alone = a heap load of money that TLC is forking out for this “memory”. I’m sure it was producer Jen’s idea for that camera shot. Bribery seems to be the theme of this episode with the first example being given to the twins. If Cara and Mady want another hermit crab, then they have to get their hair braided. Very clever of clean-freak Kate to ensure that she doesn’t have to endure another of those gross creatures. On the couch, Kate explains that she thinks it’s a good idea for the girls to have their hair braided so that it doesn’t hang in their eyes, and then contorts her hands – ala a hermit crab’s pinchers- in front of her eyes to demonstrate her point. Maybe she should take her own advice and get her own hair braided so she doesn’t have to keep flipping it behind her ears. I guess you can’t braid “Denise-the-Menace-meets-the-back-end-of-a-porcupine” hair cut.
Back in the hair studio, Mady is objecting to the hair braiding and says it “looks unpleasant”. She likes hair wraps instead. Kate’s not hearing that. She says she’s tired of the girls’ “stribbly” hair. The spell-check just underlined this word in red, thus confirming that this is another one of Kate’s made-up adjectives. Meanwhile, Jon is looking on in misery and says to the camera, “Instead of being dragged here, I could be in the pool with my boys.” Which begs the question, “Who is in the pool with the boys?” Probably pawned those yucky boys off on the hired help again. Finally, Kate catches up to the logic of her wise-beyond-her-years daughter Mady and realizes that hair braiding is painful. This light-bulb moment comes after the hair-do-phobia-prone Alexis is agonizing every twist of her tender-headed hair. Kate shows un-characteristic empathy for Alexis and the brave face she put on through the ordeal, but Mady receives no such treatment. As poor Mady throws a crying fit in front of the mirror because the one braid that she relented to is “across her forehead”, Kate says, “I try to do something nice and I get shot down every time.” Why do I get the feeling that Mady will be repeating that phrase to Kate in the future when she finally snaps and goes on a shooting spree? Back to the couch where Kate says that she will never do the hair braiding again (producer Jen is thinking that that was a big waste of TLC’s money) and that she felt like she should get the “Worst Mommy Award” (I know a few delegates who would confirm your nomination).
We return to the beach house where we learn that Cara’s hermit crab “Herbie” has died. On the couch, Jon and Kate get a good laugh over describing how the leprous Herbie started losing his parts. Cara wants to bring Herbie home so that he can be buried, but Kate is grossed out by the thought of a zip-locked frozen hermit crab so close to her organic food. Solution? Jon discovers an ice-maker fridge that Kate was not even aware of, and designates it as the “morgue”. To keep the little ones from being traumatized, Jon and Kate tell the kids that the note on the freezer door is for “Marge” the cleaning lady and reads, “Do Not Open”. It should also read, “Do Not Take Pictures of The Dead Hermit Crab, Do Not Wave At The Dead Hermit Crab, Do Not Say ‘Hello’ To The Dead Hermit Crab.” Meanwhile, the hermit crab massacre continues as Herbie 2 has now died. Apparently he crawled in to a McMansion shell that was too big for him and couldn’t get out. Let that be a lesson to you Jon and Kate! Jon explains in the beach house kitchen that hermit crabs in captivity only live 6-9 months verses 30 years in the wild. Kate snarks that the Animal Rights Activists will be up in arms and that she and Jon will receive threatening e-mails from people. Thought you just delete those Kate?
Time to make the patriotic dessert! Jon coughs into the camera and says, “It’s not organic!” Haa Haa! Kate relents to making a “non-organic” flag cake and says that she just has to make due with what’s available. Anyone else foresee Kate having organic food flown in to North Carolina when they move to the McMansion? Kate conveniently employs all the girls to help decorate the flag cake with blueberries and strawberries and says that she didn’t want to “disturb the boys” who were playing in the other room. Whoever wandered into the kitchen could help. Kate wants everybody to sing “You’re a Grand Old Flag” while decorating but Mady interjects her own lyrics, “you’re the strangest people…” and not wanting Mady to have any freedom of expression, Kate says, “You’re going to go away.” Guess who “wanders” into the kitchen to help? THE YUCKY BOYS! How are you going to get out of this one Kate? Blame it on the girls who apparently have “taken ownership” of the decorating by making it a “girl thing”. How exactly does one do this? Do they mark their territory by spraying estrogen? In any case, Joel wants to help and Kate says he can’t. Joe walks away completely dejected and looks sadly back at Kate as he slumps down the stairs. (Author’s note: all kidding aside, this really was heart-breaking to watch. I really felt sad for Joel.) After the cake is decorated to Kate’s satisfaction, the girls start eating the strawberries. Kate says repeatedly, “no more eating” until finally she has to yell it and grab the strawberries away. She says to the girls, “I don’t know what language I have to say it in for you to understand!” Well Kate, they obviously don’t understand the language of “bitch”. More bribery as Kate tells the girls to smile for the picture of them and their cake. If they do, they will get a strawberry (you mean the ones you just told them to stop eating?). The boys are asked to look at the dessert that they were not allowed to decorate (similar to the cupcakes that they were not allowed to eat) and tell Kate what it is. Collin says it is “strawberry pie”. “Close” says Kate. How about, “it’s a symbol of the oppressive gender roles that you have assigned us kids to? Will that get me strawberry Mother?” Aidan is allowed to have a strawberry after he stops whining and asks sweetly, “Can I please have a strawberry?” I would have given him a whole bushel after that sweetness, but he is content with his two slices and walks away happy.
Meanwhile, Joel apparently left the kitchen to go find Jon who is outside grilling crab so that the family can “indulge in the indulgences” of North Carolina – whatever that means. Joel sweetly asks Jon if he can help and Jon says, “Not right now buddy, but thanks for asking Daddy.” That courteous response seems to work better with Joel because he gives Jon the cutest little smile and all now seems right in the world. Now we cut to kids throwing plastic animals into the pool from the third deck and yelling, “baby dolphin is okay!” and then Hannah runs down to the hammock swing where she proceeds to wipe bird poop off the chair arm. Nanny/Jodi Replacement Jenny tells Hannah to throw the wipes in the garbage instead of flushing them down the toilet. Leah gets a kick out of Jenny saying “toilet” to which Jenny corrects herself and says, “potty” and Leah says, “Yuck!” Too cute. On the couch, Jon and Kate are recall how nice it was to “relax the schedule” and let the kids do whatever they wanted to do. Really? What about Mady NOT wanting to get her hair braided and Joel wanting to help decorate the cake but being denied? Hmmmmm.
As Jon and Kate are inside the house “pre-cracking” crab and getting dinner ready (two separate goals in Mady’s mind), the viewing audience is treated to a montage of kids opening and closing the numerous glass sliding doors and screaming when they get their fingers pinched. A nice little audio appetizer for your listening enjoyment. More bribery in the form of Jenny telling the kids to get their bibs on if they want to see a magic trick. She demonstrates to her amazed pre-school audience how she can rub a quarter into her elbow and make it re-appear from behind a child’s ear. She should teach that trick to Jon and Kate so that they can hide their “love offering” earnings from the IRS. Back inside, Kate is recalling how she and Jon once ordered shellfish just for an adult treat, but never got to eat it because the kids kept yelling, “Bull Crap!” oh wait a minute, I think she was saying, “More Crab!”, but either phrase works here. Jon cuts himself while cracking the crab shells and apparently Kate feels the need to control that too. “Could you please keep your bleeding to a minimum? That is so nasty!” Although, you could insert the word, “breathing”,“scratching” or “eating” for the word “bleeding” and have a standard Kate complaint of Jon.
Finally, it’s time to eat and the Gosselins feast on crab, corn on the cob, baked potatoes and broccoli, but not before a meal-time prayer complete with Alexis smacking Collin in the head before thanking Jesus (wonder where she learned that from). Kate is practically drooling over the deliciousness of the meal, saying that she wishes she had two stomachs so that she could eat more. Don’t jack-asses have two stomachs? Pretty sure they do.
Time to decorate the pool area and the front of the house with American flags, and then have dessert! Kate tells producer Jen that she missed filming the girls asking who the birthday cake was for and Kate having to explain that it was America’s birthday, that America is a girl (of course) and that we celebrate our freedom on the 4th of July. Jon looks at Kate on the couch and tests Kate’s history knowledge by asking her, “Who are we free from?” When Kate answers correctly, “England”, you could have blown Jon over with the feather that he stuck in his cap and called macaroni. “Oh wow!” he says in amazement. Kate says, “Don’t worry – I had those kind of classes.” Apparently they stuck better in her memory than her nursing classes.
Time for the annual Gosselin Family 4th of July picture! More bribery in the form of “no picture = no dessert”. A few of the kids are doing the pee-pee dance and immediately run off to use the bathrooms once the picture is taken. Kate can be heard yelling, “there’s plenty of bathrooms!” You mean unlike your current house where the kids have to find a vacant potty chair much like a cat finds a litter box?
Back in the kitchen, dessert is served with another rendition of “Grand Old Flag” which now includes a more cooperative Mady. Mady actually has a very nice singing voice and if she’s smart, she’ll keep that under wraps or Joe Jackson/Kate Gosselin will find a way to exploit that potential money train. Kate manages to get a dig in about Jon’s weight by saying, “Honest to Gosh, do you work out to lose weight or to eat?” As Jon reaches for his big slice of flag cake, he answers, “eat”. He admits that he hasn’t lost any weight lately and actually has gained. Jenny encourages him and says, “muscle” and Jon teases back, “brain matter”. Better watch out Kate, me thinks Jon might over-look the auburn color you made Jenny dye her hair for a kind word of encouragement and a lack of “love taps”.
After dessert, the plan called for fireworks, but the local sheriff via his truck loud-speaker announces to the neighborhood that fireworks are illegal on the island. Jon is really disappointed because he bought a whole bunch of pyrotechnics and was looking forward to shooting them off. On the couch, he explains that even though everyone else was shooting off fireworks nightly, he wanted to set a good example for his children by not doing anything illegal. I guess contraband pinecones and stealing oranges off a roadside grove doesn’t count as “illegal”. The Gosselins will have to settle for throwing “snaps” on the pavement and lighting “sparklers” for their home-grown firework display, but Cara and Mady are not happy. Jon explains that this is the first year in his lifetime and the twins that they have not gone to the Wyomissing 4th of July Parade. He thinks that Cara and Mady are a bit homesick for this tradition. Well that’s what happens when you isolate yourselves from friends and family Jon. Kate is calling Jon and “Ding Dong” for getting the sparklers so close the little kids because “they spit all that sparkage at you.” Well done Kate – made up phrases with alliteration! She also explains to a still upset Cara and Mady that the fireworks could set off forest fires like they say in Virginia and all the animals will die. “Do you care more about the animals or about fireworks?” she asks. “I just want to set off fireworks!” pouts Mady. Cue more angry letters from animal rights activists.
Kate excuses herself to clean up (shocker) after the snaps and sparkler display and Jon gets the idea to “bomb” Kate with water balloons from third floor deck. The kids get involved and seem to be having way too much fun at the thought of pelting their mother with latex and water. Mady could have easily used Kate’s line, “I do something nice and get shot down every time” in this instance. Jon recalls that the neighbors wanted to have a water balloon fight but he had turned them down because he thought it was “immature” at the time. Is that the politically correct term for “was not commercially endorsed”? Anyway, he thinks TLC’s, I mean “his” money would have been better spent buying more water balloons than on illegal fireworks. Speaking of fireworks, that is how we end this night of independence with the Gosselins as they sit on the deck and sing an impromptu version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. Jon and Kate narrate through a flash back of all the happy memories that they created at the beach and hope to do again. As we fade to black, the audience is treated to a preview of next week’s episode – Labor Day featuring Kate and her Amazing Uterus!